The Big Chill: 7 Refreshing Wines Under $15


Indian summer demands refreshing wines that are easy on both the wallet and the palate. For this: seven keepers, $15 and under.

1. Muralhas de Monção, Vinho Verde, 2009 ($15)
“The literal translation is ‘green wine,’ but neither color nor St. Patrick has anything to do with this Vinho Verde from Portugal. The name refers to the wine’s youthfulness. Low in alcohol, dry, crisp, bright and fruity, this goes perfectly with seafood.” —Eugenio Jardim, wine director, Jardinière

2. Garofoli, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Superiore, “Macrina,” 2009 ($13)
“It’s zippy and refreshing, yet it has an inherent quince marmalade, woody and white grapefruit character that goes with everything from crudo to barbecue. It drinks so easy, you might forget about water.” —Shelley Lindgren, co-owner and wine director, A16

3. Bodegas Borsao, Campo de Borja Rosado, 2009 ($8)
“End-of-season tomatoes, barbecues during the dog days of summer and dining al fresco all equate to rosé for me. Classically Spanish, from the Campo de Borja region, this Grenache-based rosé rocks with its zesty watermelon and faint notes of strawberry.” —Evan Goldstein, author of Daring Pairings (UC Press)

4. Argento Torrontés, 2008 ($14)
“This Argentine wine is aromatic with lime blossom and leaf. It jumps out of the glass with zesty and clean fruit.” —Rebecca Chapa, Tannin Management

5. Bodegas Shaya, Verdejo “Old Vines” Rueda, 2008 ($13)
“It has lots of grapefruit. The secret to this? The more you drink, the better it is!” —Gerald Hirigoyen, chef-owner, Piperade

6. Cesani, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, 2008 ($12)
“It’s from the little hill town in Tuscany and has nicely balanced mineral, fruit and herb qualities, making it incredibly easy to drink.” —Alder Yarrow, Vinography

7. Domaine Rimbert, “Les Travers de Marceau” Saint Chinian, 2008 ($15)
“This light wine has soft tannins and is wild and gamey. I usually drink it a little chilled with the barbecue on.” —Guilhaume Gerard, co-owner, Terroir Natural Wine Bar & Merchant

Where to Buy: K&L Wine, 638 Fourth St., 415-896-1734,
Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, Ferry Building Marketplace, 415-391-9400,
The Jug Shop, 5620 Geary Blvd., 415-386-9463,

photo by Erin Kunkel

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